Whitney Mercilus, is a famed outside linebacker for the Houston Texans, member of the National Football League. A native of Akron, Ohio however, his roots are deeply embedded in Haitian heritage. Mercilus was birthed to Haitian parents, Wilner and Yvrose Mercilus on July 21, 1990. He attended nationally recognized School of Promise, Garfield High School in Akron, Ohio. While attending Garfield, he was a four-year standout varsity student-athlete, where he lettered for the Rams for his relentless play on the gridiron. His skilled and tenacious playmaking ability led to Rivals.com naming him a three-star defensive end prospect. After high school, Mercilus attended the University of Illinois. As a member of the Fighting Illini, he was recognized as a football All-American. Under the tutelage of Coach Ron Zook, he was named first-team All-Big Ten. Additionally, he was the recipient of the 2011 Ted Hendricks Award, Bill Willis Award and he was named College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Defensive Performer of the Year.
Mercilus, a “can’t miss prospect” was a 2012 first-round draft pick by the Houston Texans, 26th overall. This incredible milestone in his football career made him the highest selected “Fighting Illini” defensive lineman since 1996. He later transitioned into an outside linebacker under defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips. With hard-work, dedication, and consistency in honing his craft, Mercilus is considered one of the league’s top defensive players.
Mercilus is known for showing “No Merci” on the field, however off the field, he shows “All Merci.” He is the epitome of class-act, tireless giving of his time as an ambassador and a role model for adolescents and young adults. Most importantly, he is actively involved and engaged in community outreach as an agent of change. He received the 6th Annual Spirit of the Bull Award from the Houston Texans for his excellence on the field and in the community. In 2016, Mercilus launched The WithMerci Foundation, which advocates services and support for families of children with disabilities and special needs. To date, Mercilus and the WithMerci Foundation has donated over $325,000.00 to advocate services for families of children with disabilities and academic programs servicing the special needs population. Mercilus was chosen as the 2018 NFL Houston Texans Man of the Year nominee for his work on and off the field.
Mercilus and his family proudly consider themselves Houstonians, adopting Houston as their home. He is a proud pet parent to a German Shepherd named Rocky. Forever humble, Mercilus is indebted to the love and support of siblings, Glory and Donald.